We Bought The Cheapest Classic Mini We Could Find: Turns Out It Was Horribly Broken

This one's problems cost thousands to repair

There’s no escaping this fact: Cars these days are absolutely massive. If you ever need proof of that, just go stand next to something like this classic 1993 Rover Mini. As one of the most honest-to-goodness fun cars you can drive, it’s no wonder a healthy number of enthusiasts out there still love this tiny car. That’s why all of us in the TFL office fell over ourselves to take our first look at this British classic after Roman and Tommy bought it for just $5,000.

It’s even right-hand drive! This particular car, as we understand it, was a Japanese Mini that lived in Japan before it was imported to the West Coast, then sold in Colorado.

But here’s the rub — from the start, the little Mini was a bit of a disaster. I saw this car for the first time yesterday, after it had been with Ted, who is the owner and lead mechanic of Ax and Allies Automotive in Denver, Colorado. All in all, this Mini took months to fix as we waited for parts, and the total repairs came out to just a shade over $4,000.

So, there you have it. We’re into the cheapest classic Mini we could find for $9,000, though there are still up sides. The body appears fairly rust-free and clear of accident damage. As it happens, the later models (outside the valuable Mark I Minis) still carry a value higher than what we have into it so far, at least if you find the right buyer.

Where did this car come from?

This Mini’s interior is also pretty nice, especially once Ted fitted a BMC steering wheel. Mind you, since this Mini Cooper is a 1993 model, that wheel is not period-accurate, as British Motor Corporation folded into British Leyland in the late 1960s. This was the last model year before BMW took over what was then the Rover Group, which had been under the control of British Aerospace when British Leyland collapsed in 1986. From there, the German automaker laid the ground work for the new Mini we all know today.

Check out our latest Mini purchase in the video below, and stay tuned for more detailed videos coming to TFLclassics soon.